The Rise of Instablogging: Tumblr, Instagram & Pinterest

Photographer wearing Yukata
In the beginning, when we had to walk uphill both ways to get to the mall, the elite fashion publishing houses provided monthly print magazines to be devoured on the couch, in the bath, under the hair dryer and on the elliptical. Then fashion bloggers established a new way of experiencing and connecting to like-minded readers through style, outfit photos and DIY, carving out places online that made fashion personal and discoverable through weekly posts.

And the industry took note, eventually moving to partner with bloggers and supplement traditional media coverage by becoming publishers themselves. Then with Twitter and Facebook, access to content became greater and the act of sharing this content became a measurement of business success.

Instablogging, the term we use to describe sites like Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest are the latest publishing platforms to satiate the industry and fashion public’s growing demand for quick-fix content creation and dissemination. Instablogging enables brands to build and strengthen communities at a rapid pace with a snap of a camera, a pin or a click.

8 Fashion Brands on Tumblr

The DKNY PR Girl Tumblr launched Tuesday

“It’s the easiest way to blog,” describes Tumblr. With more than 21,317,680 blogs and counting, Tumblr is a social media platform allowing users to share content quickly by way of posting text, photos, quotes, links, music and videos to a platform similar to a traditional blog but with the ease of Twitter.

The Tumblr platform speaks to the epitome of Internet behavior which is fast paced, very visual, and shareable. The best Tumblr channels provide a visual feast with beautiful graphic images that sometimes tell more of a story that the actual written words. – Sharon Hirsch, Account Director, Digital Brand Architects

In November, PR Couture reported on how fashion PR agencies were using the platform, and in February, Tumblr’s newly appointed fashion director sent 24 fashion bloggers with Tumblrs to New York Fashion Week. Since then, major fashion brands and designers have begun to use the multi-media blogging platform, with new ones cropping up each day. In the few days since starting to write this post, designer Rachel Roy, DNKY PR Girl and yes, even Lady Gaga joined up.

While round-ups of fashion brands on Tumblr have already made the rounds, those highlighted below show the diversity, and sometimes rudimentary understanding, of how to make use of the platform. Setting up a a tumblr takes seconds, taking the time to create a unique branded feel, and provide interesting content worth of a reblog (tumblr’s version of the share) is quite another!

Anthropologie’s Etymologie

This Tumblr is unique in that it’s not heavily branded as Anthropologie but instead seeks to connect the well-loved brand more explicitly to its corresponding lifestyle. Etymologie is a scrapbook of content authored by multiple employees with the goal to inspire and connect with the Anthropologie community. The concept is a series of posts inspired by a reader-submitted word, and posts include everything from vacation photos to a reblogged video about how to properly use a French press (so Anthro!). While one can shop off of the main nav, product is perhaps a tertiary focus for this Tumblr.

CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America Tumblr parades around the internet disguised as a traditional blog. Sneaky and stylish! But if you look closer at the layout, you’ll notice it’s a Tumblr. This blog is well organized, clean and easy to navigate. Check out their Tumblr for CFDA event coverage and, currently, excerpts from the CFDA journal featuring countless designers.

Juicy Couture

The best part of the Juicy Tumblr is their 21 questions feature, featuring their guest couturist (blogger) of the month, while posts featuring Barbara Krueger and reviews of Beverly Hills juice bars are surprising, through appreciated.

Kate Spade

Be inspired by NYC and Expect color swatches, books, Instagram photos and other snippets of content to spark your creativity. Kate Spade Creative Director Deborah Lloyd also shares her own inspirations every month.

Nine West

Here you’ll become a Nine West brand expert. This Tumblr blog offers up-to-date information on what’s happening in the world of Nine West. The content offers a balanced mix of content featuring event coverage, reblogged content for inspiration, press coverage and influencer spotlights.

Ruche

This boutique Tumblr blog shares DIY projects, contests, style tips and inspirational content. Want to learn how to braid a scarf into your hair? Check out their Tumblr for the how-to guide.

Stefano Gabbana

Want to see Dolce & Gabbana through the eyes of Stefano Gabbana (@stefanogabbana)? Stefano’s Tumblr is more for your inner voyeur and not if you’re looking for style tips or a fashion resource. The layout is a bit difficult to navigate and the content consists mainly of photos from events.

Vogue

Worth following to see snapshots of editors interviewing top-tier designers and a quick fix of gorgeous photos, however the site focuses primarily on driving traffic to Vogue.com and misses some of the spontaneous fun of say, Oscar PR Girl.

8 Fashion Brands and Bloggers on Instagram

Club Monaco announces their Tumblr launch...on Instagram

Over five million members have become addicted to how Instagram filters can turn even the shoddiest of photographs into masterpieces.  With fashion bloggers and brands are at helm, the results can be inspiring and provide a much more casual “day in the life” energy that many of their followers users find both fashionable and fascinating. While it’s still in the early stages of mass fashion brand adoption, we’re paying attention to how the following accounts are using the app, and how they are integrating it with Facebook, Twitter and other social properties. Here’s a more exhaustive list.

 

8 Fashion Designers and Bloggers on Pinterest

 

Pinterst Boards by Plum Pretty Loungerie

With the potential to become as oft-used a tool for the aesthetic set significant, Pinterest offers Tumblr’s similar ability to clip images from the Web for the purpose of sharing and assembling into what amount to mood boards around any variety of topics. While one of Pinterest’s leading etiquette suggestions is to avoid self-promotion, there are a handful of designers and bloggers  successfully sharing inspiration and building brand awareness through the tool.

I think the value of “instablogging” in particular, Pinterest, is a way to really deepen what the Plum Pretty Sugar Loungerie brand represents in a really visual way… both with colleagues and with consumers. It connects immediately and allows a lovely dialogue through re-pinnning. [It’s] Incredibly fulfilling… and a really interesting way to determine brand direction by understanding what images really resonate and the further development of “why.” – Charlotte Mills, Founder and Creative Director

Take a look and you may recognize a few names who have already taken a liking to the art of pinning:

Erin Loechner, founder and writer for Design for Mankind: http://pinterest.com/erinloechner/

Joy Cho, Founder and Editor of Oh Joy!: http://pinterest.com/ohjoy/

Maia McDonald, Graphic Designer at Shopbop: http://pinterest.com/maia_mcdonald/

Katie Evans, Graphic Designer at Kate Spade: http://pinterest.com/katieae/

Nina Garcia: http://pinterest.com/ninagarcia/

Nordstrom: http://pinterest.com/nordstrom/

Paper Fashion: http://pinterest.com/paperfashion/

Pennyweight: http://pinterest.com/pennyweight/

How are you using integrating Instablogging into your fashion PR & marketing strategies?

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.